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Found 8 results

  1. Dear All, Happy Diwali ........ First of all, back home after another amazing trip to the Kwando concession. A million laughs, the joys of cheetah tracking through the heat of suicide month, what more can one ask for ....... Many many Thanks to Spencer and Mr.Moe for another magical safari up and down the Kwando Concession. Many highlights which include the new very young Cheetah coalition trying to take a strangle hold of the neighbourhood, the dominant Lagoon Super Pride, Incredible Carmine colony, Bumping into a Cheetah mum and cubs who had never been seen before or who in turn had possibly never seen a vehicle before , stumbling into random Lions trying to make their way from the migratory corridor from Namibia, not to forget bumping into a curious Aardwolf while cheetah tracking, massive Elephant herds........ but, start with the first few photos from my final morning
  2. I am returning to Botswana next month for the first time in 6 years. I have an option to stay at Lebala or Duma Tau for 4 nights for the exact same price. My previous visit I stayed at Lebala. With price not being an issue, any particular reason to choose one over the other? Hoping to get a chance to see wild dogs and get my lion and elephant fix while at either of these two camps.
  3. I decide to share a sighting from October 2009 ; Leopard versus Warthog. At first, a detailed report of the sighting + my impressions about it, and then the pictures in chronogical order. It happens in October 2009, on the Kwando concession. As usual, we were out in the early morning when we came across fresh leopard’s spoors. We, of course, followed the tracks and when they went off road, Simon, the tracker went off the car to have a better reading of it. He was walking a few meters in front of the vehicle, his eyes focused on the ground, when Spencer called him back on the car, the leopard was walking 25 meters in front of Simon. It was a big male, very relax, known by Spencer; he had even given him a name “The Magician”. The territory of this leopard was going from the flooded plains to the mopane passing by the only baobab of the concession. We were just close to the baobab when they began to track the “Magician”. A few minutes after, Spencer, as well as the leopard, spotted two warthogs (a heavily pregnant female and one of her offspring from the previous year) that disappeared in a burrow. The leopard then decided to ambush just at the entrance of the hole. Spencer said it will not take all day, between 1 ½ and 2 hours, the warthogs being not too patient. After one hour and a half of patient waiting, the two warthogs, suddenly appeared, the leopard pounced on the female. During the wrestling, the leopard tried to reach the throat while trying to keep, with his back paws, the warthog’s head at a distance, to provide against the sharp tusks. The warthog was screaming loud. After ten minutes of a wild battle, the leopard succeeded in immobilizing the warthog, his mouth and fangs on the warthog’s neck. We all then thought that it was finished when, attracted by the shrieks, a hyena decided to be part of the action. The leopard, of course, had to release his pressure and the warthog, badly injured, managed to escape. It's very difficult to say what's finally happened with the warthog which was heavily injured and bleeding a lot. Spencer had 2 scenarios. Number one, the heavily pregnant female warthog sheltered in a burrow and died there or survived. Number two, as she needed all her forces and energy to recover, she might have made a miscarriage and perhaps survived. It is not uncommon to see a hyena saving the life of a leopard’s prey. I have seen it several years ago in the Savute with an impala. On the other hand I have never seen an incident with such savagery and violence but also with such reaction speed to the moves of the opponent, especially in the warthog’s right. Before being the witness of this, it was very difficult for me to imagine that an animal like a warthog could resist, almost ten minutes, an eternity for such a situation, to the power and speed of a leopard. 7.19 AM 8.41 AM 8.43 AM 8.44 AM 8.46 AM
  4. We booked this trip with African Travel Resource as we did not get the desired travel dates with our German TO. ATR was able to produce the desired dates. Itinerary: 07.11. depart from Frankfurt with KLM via Amsterdam to Johannesburg – overnight OR Tambo Garden Court 08.11. - 13.11. Kwara Camp, Okavango Delta 13.11. - 15.11. Lebala Camp, Kwando 15.11. - 18.11. Lagoon Camp, Kwando 18.11. Johannesburg – overnight OR Tambo Garden Court 19.11. - 21.11. Berg En Dal Restcamp, Kruger National Park 21.11. - 25.11. Satara Restcamp, Kruger National Park 25.11. - 03.12. Wine 6 Dine Safari Cape Winelands We chose to fly KLM for 2 reasons: 1. they do have a Premium Economy class with more leg room 2. due to the ne regulations, which allow only one piece of luggage pp, we had to store our luggage at the OR Tambo hotel and repack our safari stuff into 2 softbags. The KLM was a dayflight. So we did not have to kill time in JNB. 08.11. day one Kwara Flying into the Okavango Delta showed, what we had to expect: it was raining. The delta looked already green, greener than we experienced in previous years. With us in the plane was AT, who was supposed to be our tracker at Kwara, which we did not know at that time. On the air strip we were awaited by our guide Dix. AT + Dix Funny enough, Dix was our guide some years ago in the Mapula Lodge. 2 years ago Matt was our guide in Lagoon, who was also guiding us one day at Mapula. We come so many years to the Kwando camps, but we never get the a guide, we had before. We were told, that we would be the only guests this afternoon, the next morning we should be with another couple and the rest of our stay it would always be a full car. The pack of 28 African Wild Dogs are around and we find them quickly on our afternoon drive. The light is very low, something we should experience on almost every drive. It´s a high ISO safari. All these shots here are taken between ISO 6400 and 8000. We stay the whole drive with the dogs. They caught an Impala and are busy feeding. The puppies gave us a nice show. As usual there is the battle for the impala head, something we witnessed almost on every impala kill. The alpha female is extremely pale, Dix says, that she came over from Vumbura to the Kwara area. Mapula´s just next door to Vumbura, so he knew this striking dog. while the alpha male has seen better times, when standing still he almost falls, he´s tumbling his way. The guides hope, that he dies quickly. That sounds strange, but it is for good reason. The sooner he dies, the sooner a new male from outside the pack will replace him, that should happen so early, that he will be able to produce new puppies for the next season. Everybody of the Kwando guides seemed to know, that my Leopard pic was the runner up at 2013s competition. The Guides we had throughout our trip always asked me, if I was happy with the pictures I took, maybe a bit selfish, as the guide who´s guiding the winner also gets a price. Nevertheless I found the guides, with one exception, not too knowledgable on the photography side. They all tried to drive you right into the action. Many times we were to close, shooting upside down. I know, that it´s a problem in a shared vehicle to get everybody happy. On one occasion, I asked Dix not to drive to close to the animal, esp. for the perspective, and there was big laugh from our fellow car sharers, from which one was also a big-gear photographer, who laughed the loudest. He should have the same problem as me. That was the day one, we found my loved dogs. The guiding team is good and Kwara is Kwara! And Kwara still had a lot to show!
  5. In 2003, I decided to see what was happening north of Selinda, while saying that the region should be similar. Although the atmosphere of the Kwando camps was different, I was not disappointed. I spent a week in Lebala & Lagoon. This trip was followed by three others in 2006, 2009 & 2011, each time including Kwara. In 2003, there were many lions, including the three males’ coalition that had dominated the Selinda pride for a few years, and wild dogs, but no leopards or cheetahs. During my four travels, I will, moreover, see, and very briefly, only very few cheetahs, at Kwara, as well as at Lebala and Lagoon. Like what, an individual reality never totally reflects THE reality of a place. There is not a single cheetah’s picture in this report. The lion population has decreased over the years. In 2011, I saw only 2 shy males feeding on the carcass of a young elephant, they had not killed, and that hastened to clear off when we arrived. In Kwara, on the other hand, the lions were still present, and continuously. Wild dogs, more discreet in Kwara, were mostly found in Lagoon, on a daily basis. As for leopards, from 2006, we could see them regularly everywhere. Elephants were everywhere, especially in Lebala. There were more great buffaloes’ herds in 2003 than in subsequent years. There were also sightings, that if not many, were regular, of smaller cats and honey badgers. May 2003 The pictures and some of 2006 are slides’ scans. Lagoon was managed by a lady who, if I remember correctly, was the wife of the chief-pilot of Moremi Air. Charles Sebaka was my guide. The camp was as I like, comfortable and without ostentatious luxury. The tents had a side entrance. It was then a small hall / dressing room with, en-suite, to the right the bathroom, and left the bedroom, facing the lagoon. I remember all this because one day, returning to my tent, I came up against something unpleasant, that, at the extreme, could have ended badly for me. More details on this a bit further. The dining room had no floor or tiles. The table and chairs were laid on the sand. Pictures taken from and around the camp. Lebala was managed, on an interim basis, by a charming young woman, Dee. Ras Mundu was my excellent guide. Ras is a brother of Barberton (BB) who was guide at Selinda. I do not quite remember the details of the camp. I imagine that the tents were to be similar to those of Lagoon. To be continued
  6. I have previously posted a TR about my ventures with guide Steve Kgwatalala in http://safaritalk.net/topic/14662-a-tribute-to-steve-kgwatalala-or-how-a-good-guide-can-make-a-difference/ This TR will cover my other trips to the Kwando properties with different guides. In August 2004 after spending 6 days with Steve K at Lagoon/Lebala I finished the trip wit 3 days at Kwara. I was in a shared vehicle with some Germans that would qualify for a post in "Pet peeves on safari". My guide was Joe who did a decent job. However he was not truly passionate about his job and left the safari industri shortly after. On the first game drive we were just out of camp when we came across a Buffalo herd of at least a thousand animals. Two male Lions, intruders, were watching them. It was fascinating to watch them for almost an hour as the Buffalo herd walked slowly past. The Lions were clearly waiting for the tail end of the herd. Finally the herd was past with only a few Dagga boys trailing behind and the one Lion went into action expecting the other to follow. However the other Lion was too "love sick" to bother and nothing came out of the hunt. On the way back to camp we had some nice sigthings of Porcupine and Giant Eagle Owl on the airstrip. The next morning we did a Mekoro trip. A nice way to spend the morning but a little too quiet for my taste. Little Bee-eater Coming back to camp we saw one of the male Lions from the previous evening lying very close to my tent /nr 8) We went to investigate and got a glimpse of him mating with a female and then returning to a kill he had made nearby. Another predator in our safari vehicle.
  7. many thanks to the Safari Talk forum for help in planning an exceptional 18 day safari in Botswana and Zambia. Special shout out to Safari dude who introduced us to Benson Siyawareva who still has us laughing..what a great guy and guide who went with us to Botswana. Also always appreciate Twaffle's help as her advice has been so spot on over the years....And Fiona at Ngoko Safaris did all the arrangements superbly...not a hitch, not even one..... arrived home at about noon and started downloading the images to my computer so will have something to post shortly..... camps were Little Vumbura, Little Kwara, Lagoon, Lebala, Kaingo and Mwamba with a one night stay at Royal Livingstone as we moved from Botswana to Zambia...stayed 3 nights at all the camps except Lebala where we split 5 days between Lagoon and Lebala.... Saw every kind of game imaginable with lots of predator action and babies as well.....and who can forget a Ferrari Safari with the wild dogs? Anyway thanks again for being such a valuable resource.... Mr and Mrs Mosquito
  8. Hello, Greetings!!!! Just back to Joburg and back to the real world again after a rocking safari in the Kwando concession. Lebala is rocking at the moment!!!!! Quick update from the triple den situation .............. Initially there was a lot of apprehension from the three mothers who gave birth to the puppies, but, now things seem to be settling down. One of the mums seem to have adopted all pups into her den and the other two mums are off hunting with the other 5 in the pack. The 3 intruding males from Muvumbi seem to be absolutely useless at hunting. Could not even count the number of puppies - that many! well over 20! ............... they also started eating meat. Good times for anyone visiting Lebala. Cheetah wise - had some amazing viewing of the two new young males that pop in and out of the concession. They certainly are show stoppers - they pose and perform brilliantly. One particular day - we had them perform from sun up to sun down ................. could not break for morning coffee or lunch. Had to eat lunch in the car.............. serving lunch from the tupper ware boxes. Brilliant!!! They are better at posing than hunting - yet, we were the first to have ever witnessed a hunt of them in view of the game drives (a warthog piglet). Alas, no sighting of the 3 old brothers - who seem to perfer the Muvumbi valley (I was almost in tears having missed them) ........... Oh well - I think they are slow with age and can't quite cover the huge grounds anymore. Lions - what can I say? ............. best Lion viewing on the concession since atleast 2007 ................ Leopard and cub at lagoon. Good plains game. Elephants and buffalo not in their massive numbers yet ............... Some awesome Tssesebe sightings ( I dig Topi/Tssesebe these days) .......... One 45 minute sighting of Sable in Lagoon. Travelled with 3 others - it was the first visit for two others ............. They loved every minute of it - the people, the experience and just about everything ....... As always, a HUGE Thank You to Spencer and Mr.Moe ........... Another great experience! Thanks to Leso for his wonderful camp management at Lebala - a truly awesome time!!! P.S - my trip started with pangolin on my first game drive (my second ever!) ........... at 4 PM - I hadn't seen impala or kudu at that point in my trip. That elusive Aardvark will have to wait another trip. Now the low point ........... I packed my camera gear at sunset and left the lions last night ............... what happens next? literally 5 minutes later - they kill two wildebeest. Oh well!!! Trust everyone is doing well and chat soon!

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